Drake could have raked in an extra $500, 000 in sales if he dropped his CD at same time his album Scorpion hit streaming services, but he didn’t. And his team has a good reason for this.
According to Billboard, this came to light after merchants gathered in Florida at the annual convention of Alliance Entertainment, the largest music wholesaler of CDs and vinyl in the U.S., where they it was revealed that CD sales accounts for $1.06 billion in sales at retail in the U.S. last year. These merchants were surprised that label execs weren’t supporting the CD.
For Drake’s album, if he had dropped it on time, the merchants speculated it would have sold 250,000 to 300,000 copies its debut week. And if the CD hit stores at a later date, the first-week sales is projected to be between 50,000 to 80,000 copies in the U.S.
“What Drake is doing is walking up to a table and seeing two bags of money, one with $100,000 on it and one with $500,000 on it and choosing to leave the larger bag of money on the table,” says a music retailer, assuming $2 per CD in royalties.
However, label exec have a good reason for stalling on CD release, their reason been that delay prevents leaks and piracy.
For Drake, it is assumed that he is more interested in the bragging rights of being a top-streamed act in history, than in banking at least half a million more in physical revenue.
This scenario, and many more others, have contributed to the dwindling in CD sales in the U.S. According to Billboard, “CD sales are down 19.9% to 35.9 million in the first 27 weeks of 2018 over the same period last year.”